[ExI] NASA tease on SETI find

Dan dan_ust at yahoo.com
Fri Dec 3 14:38:52 UTC 2010

On the other hand, I would expect arsenic to be incorporated into tissues. I 
don't see anything earth-shattering about this finding. It's not like the 
central theory of biochemistry up to this point was something that utterly and 
definitively ruled out arsenic. In fact, to me, not having arsenic in the 
biochemistry of most Earth life seems more like an accident of history.

Are you being serious here too? Did you completely rule out slightly different 
biochemistries? Were you estimating the number of places life might arise or 
spread to based on estimates of how many places might have plentiful arsenic? 
And what were your estimates? Have you now doubled the number of such places? 
Tripled them? Etc.?

To me, this is like some researcher found a life form that can survive and 
thrive is brine that's 1% more saline than the previous record holder and then 
holding off on announcing it for a big conference as if this were the equivalent 
of finding life on Mars. (Granted, all of us should have guessed that any really 
big find would be announced in short order or leaked. This sounds almost like a 
promotional stunt to justify funding or keep NASA in the news than anything 
else. I mean here the way the story was played up -- not the actual find.)



From: spike <spike66 at att.net>
To: rafal at smigrodzki.org; ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
Sent: Thu, December 2, 2010 9:42:09 PM
Subject: Re: [ExI] NASA tease on SETI find

... On Behalf Of Rafal Smigrodzki
Subject: Re: [ExI] NASA tease on SETI find

The most anticlimactic aspect is that the bacteria are not a separate highly
divergent clade like Archaea but rather members of our own tree of life that
adapted to opportunistically incorporate arsenic in their DNA...Rafal

2010/12/2 Dan <dan_ust at yahoo.com>:
> Yes, like so much about NASA: big hype over almost nothing.
> Dan
> From: "ablainey at aol.com" <ablainey at aol.com>
> ...
> Complete anticlimax...

I am surprised by the disappointment expressed by several posters.  This was
a hellll of a find.  I wouldn't expect anything to incorporate arsenic into
the tissues.  This opens up possibilities for the panspermia notion, as well
as causing me personally to increase my own estimate of the number of star
systems that support life.


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